A metal obelisk found in a US desert has fired the imaginations of UFO spotters and Stanley Kubrick fans.
The shiny pillar, which protrudes 3.6 meters from red rock in southern Utah, was spotted by officials counting bighorn sheep. After landing their helicopter to check, a Utah Department of Public Safety team found "a metal monolith." It followed with the tongue-in-cheek warning: "It is illegal to install structures or art without authorization on federally managed public lands no matter what planet you're from." Lots of people noted the similarity to alien monoliths that trigger leaps in human progress in Kubrick's classic sci-fi movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. And one joked: "Up close it reads 'Covid vaccine inside.'"
Authorities refused to disclose the location out of fear sightseers would rush into the wilderness, but it was pointed out a small structure was seen there by Google in 2016.
And Bret Hutchings, the helicopter pilot who spotted it, thought it was planted by "some new wave artist."